Cutthroats in Felac'Delb

Chapter 16: Showdown

The forces of The New Entente march through the territory of The Kalashek Union and cross the Jara River to reach the Free City of Jera thanks to the magnificent illusion spell wrought by Alphonse Hayek. The spell is seen through by a contingent of Pimen forces lead by Seeker Gillen, who marches with the New Entente, giving the explanation that it is the will of the Omet’Tektaara.

The army sets up camp in the hills three miles outside of Jera and Grelka assigns some of her warriors to create a perimeter and keep watch for enemy activity. Black Aatos and The Undertow find a cave in which to have a pre-battle party. Aldebaran and Siobhan join in the revelry. The primary entertainment is drinking contests and orgies, both of which the happy couple join. Meanwhile Amos assembles his kill team of a dozen of the most , lead by Hoist the mute Dwarf, Banarro the Numiri, Mogh Lionhide of Haf, and Huruska the ogre, called The Butcher, and briefs them. They will be airdropped while the army sieges the city and are to hunt down Thranten Ias and kill him. Amos expresses his confidence in their ability to get the job down cleanly, and they all nod grimly. He then goes to check on the blabbering zombie infused with a portion of the soul of Triona Sashentar, which Hoist has hidden in a pit inside one of the tents. Amos and The Cutthroat share a moment of shared bloodlust for the coming mission.

Arcady walks among his troops to check their morale. Most are confident that they will be victorious, but are well aware of the risks faced by footmen during a siege. Both the the orcs under Grelka and Kalashek deserters under Jeddre do some light sparring and drinking to take the edge off. The Pimen do an extended prayer ritual that involves the chanting of mantras, the rhythmic tapping of stones on stones, and throat singing. Chief Doomhand’s Aurorans celebrate a dark ritual of blood sacrifice, putting innocents from the countryside and their own men to death in order to catch the attention of Dumat’s servants and receieve a great blessing. Doomhand’s sacrifice is acceptable, and a giant werewolf is summoned, confers the blessing onto him (by slashing him with its claws and infusing the energy into his blood directly, then consumes the flesh tithe. Arcady watches in horror, and Bynazgu reassures him that the Oni abhor such butchery and would ask nothing like that of him.

Arcady assembles the war council: Grelka, Doomhand, Thagrosh, Amos, Aldebaran, and Gillen. Aldebaran is late, so Arcady goes to find him personally, but he is far too drunk to be of any use, and Arcady decides to proceed without him. He communicates the plan to march on the city and he and a number of the strongest ogres will destroy the gate so they can march in while Amos and his kill team decapitates the leadership. Seeker Gillen presumes to veto the plan, which causes Doomhand to flip out (likely because of the blessing of strength he asked for from Dumat), but once things calm down, he reveals that he and the other priests have used their magic to begin tunneling to a point under the wall, and will collapse it at the end to crumble the wall and allow entry. Arcady counter-proposes that he travel through the tunnel and burst up out of it with a surprise. It is agreed to.

The army wakes early the next morning and marches at dawn. The Undertow falls behind after waking late and is forced to march in the rear. Arcady proceeds down the tunnel built by the Pimen. The vanguard of the New Entente charges to the wall, and the ground gives before them under a siege defense spell. Arcady then bursts through the tunnel under the walls and shapeshifts into an enormous dragon. The Entente forces suffer an arrow barrage and a barrage from the city’s defenses, which Arcadragon swoops down to disrupt. The Jeran defense is made up of Creythia Elves and a medley of Human mercenaries.

Before the sun rose, Amos’ team dropped in and made their way to the boss’s (Thranten’s) palace. The team takes out the palace guards: Creythia soldiers from the same company as the one that tried to assassinate Amos in Tagkra’s armory. Amos takes a portion of his team into the palace. They see the same Creythia assassin directing the inner guard to prepare for any kind of infiltration, and the team ironically takes him down. They proceed further in and get outisde of Thranten’s office, and are trapped in a powerful slowing spell. Thranten steps out from a balcony on a second floor with two drow elves by his side and gives a slow villain clap.

Aldebaran wakes up late and finds Siobhan pacing nervously. She explains that when they take the city, Thranten will have her father killed, assuming he’s still alive, and she simply won’t allow it. She grabs an extra weapon from an Undertow soldier’s pack, and hefts it with confidence. Aldebaran tries to dissuade her, but she comes back that he should help her as final proof that he’s a changed man. He swallows his pride and make their way to the city. Between the two of them, they sneak into and through the slums in the wake of the Auroran’s destruction. They sneak past the berserking pillagers into the city proper.

Arcadragon flies above and sees his troops making their way into Jera through the breach they’ve made, as well as a cavalry charge coming from the east to hit them from the flank. The New Entente scrambles to make a defense, but Arcady swoops down and savages their leader and his vanguard. The cavalry stops dead in its tracks and breaks.

Thranten reveals that he knew that the time had come and that while he can’t defeat the New Entente as a whole, he can at least kill The Cutthroat and have a personal victory. The drow wizard maintains his hold on the spell and the other one draws a blade and starts cutting down the team. Amos starts forcing his way out of the affected area, then a very deranged-looking Triona comes from the shadows and savages the drow with the sword, biting his neck and drinking his blood. Thranten is mindblown and turns tail with the wizard to save himself. Amos breaks from the spell and lines up a necrotic shot for Thranten. Thranten is forewarned by The Cutpurse and ducks out of its way, but the necromancy in and around it is so powerful that he is infected by its passing and dies a quick and painful death as his body dissolves and The Cutpurse is defeated.

Aldebaran and Siobhan make it into the dungeon and locate her father. Between Aldebaran’s clever tongue and Siobhan’s determination, they bust him out. The Fajos have a reunion and the former boss thanks Aldebaran from the bottom of his heart for also saving his daughter. They hasten out.

The New Entente’s forces move through the city and establish control. Amos rendezvous with Arcady and relays the good news. Meanwhile Aldebaran is intercepted by two gnomes on his way to the gates, and they inform him that they’re here to relieve the former boss Fajo of his life, and Aldebaran sighs and prepares himself for some talking. They go into a secluded alley and get to introductions. Aldy introduces himself and they introduce themselves as Gark and Yarme. Aldebaran explains the projected fate of the Creythia Society and the opportunities available to them in the New Entente. Aldebaran’s audacious offer convinces them and they forgo the murder and walk with him.

Arcady is helping with the cleanup, then one of Grelka’s orcs runs over to him and tells him there are some visitors at the gate, and they’re Kalashek. Arcady dusts himself off and walks over. The Kalashek officer introduces himself as General Simon Voltimand, and says that many things happened in parallel to their Assault on Jera, including some bold moves from the Elven Archonate and the Kingdom of the Dwarves that they’ll have to discuss.

Comments

Aldebaran: 1 FP
Amos: 2 FP
Arcady: 1 FP

Chapter 16: Showdown
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